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Beith Community Development Trust

Beer Festival August 2016

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Beer Festival coming to a community centre near you…if you live in Beith. On the 27th August we have 6 different breweries bringing their beers and real ales to Beith alongside Thistly Cross Cider for those of us that don’t like beer.

It will all kick off at 1pm and finish at 9pm we have homemade food and some awesome live music from local talents throughout the festival. Don’t miss out it is £5 entry and with that you will get a branded glass that is yours to keep.

Dreams do come true

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Beith juniors 1 Pollock Fc 1

Final score beith win 4-3 on Penalties

So it happened, first Scottish junior cup final, first Junior Cup, in the 78 year history of Beith Juniors  it would be hard to find a better occasion.

Throughout the ninety minutes then straight onto penalties there were  cheers, jeers, tears at point’s relief, then an explosion of emotion, with more than a few hugs, clapping, whooping, more tears and shock on people’s faces that  Beith had won the ETHenergy Junior Scottish Cup.

Pollock started the stronger dominating possession, finding passes and looked like the favorites the bookies had made them. Winning every ball for the majority of the first half. Only a lack of clinical finishing, brave defending and goalkeeping from Beith Goalkeeper Stephen Grindlay prevented them from scoring and spared Beith blushes.

On the 18th minute Beith lost Tommy Martin through injury being replaced by Jamie Wilson. A change of personal, tactics going from 4-4-2 to 3-5-2 and Beith becoming more confident finding passes and danger men. Meant that by the end of the first half Beith  were not only more settled  but had the best chance with Kenny Mclean’s volley heading net bound until Pollock Keeper  John Longmuir tipped over his own bar.

Although Pollock started the second half as they had the first, Beith were more comfortable, breaking with pace, guile and numbers, finding passes and creating opportunities. On the 59th minute Darren Christie hit a low left foot shot passed Longmuir which went into the far corner.

The east stand with the Beith fans went crazy, I’m sure it rocked for the next 3-4 minutes, if Rugby Park had a roof the ovation would have taken it off. This was replaced by a nervousness as it suddenly became a reality that Beith could win the cup.

While the Beith fans some still shouting others, sitting biting their nails wished the time would disappear, the Pollock fans seemed stunned, with a near silence at the main stand they had.

Pollock reacted by bringing on Robbie Winters and Liam Rowan, and after a David Winters shot was tipped onto the post by Grindlay and a scramble, Robbie was there score to equalise.

From then until the final whistle 15 minutes later both teams had chances to win the game with a David McGowan header for Beith and Robbie Winters shot for Pollock both coming the closest for their teams.

So straight to penalties we went no extra time, penalties which can be a cruel, Mclean missed the first for Beith; Pollock took a 2-0 lead which disappeared thanks to saves by Grindlay and Beith scoring the others. Richie Burke stepped up and well the rest is history.

Sure at times Beith rode their luck but when the whistle blew it didn’t matter Beith’s dream had become a reality. The players, coaches, fans had stood up, been counted and are now forever part of local folklore

Team (Beith Juniors)

Stephen Grindlay (Goalkeeper)

Iain Fisher

Nicky Docherty

Kevin Macdonald

John Sheridan (Captain)

Tommy Martin (substituted 18th minute for Wilson)

Darren Christie

Paul Frize

Kenny Mclean

Andy Reid

Richie Burke


David McGowan

Jamie Wilson (replaced Martin 18th minute)

Thomas Collins

Josh Mcarthur

Zander Ryan

Referee Graham Beaton

The Romance of the Cup by William Morton

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This Sunday the 29th of May 2016 history will be made in more ways than one as Beith Juniors play Pollock FC in the ETHX Scottish Junior Cup Final at Kilmarnock FC’s ground Rugby Park. This is Beith’s first junior Cup Final and the first for Pollock in 18 years so for both these clubs and the competition history has already been made.

Pollock have reached five junior Cup Finals winning three, whilst for Beith this has been and continues to be an exciting adventure for all involved with the team and for the community.

Why dear readers have I called this the romance of the cup, well cup finals are one-offs where no matter what level you play at, if you will excuse the cliché, anything can happen, history and a team’s  form can go out the window once that whistle blows and the game begins.

Getting to the Final means you will be remembered, win or lose, although preferably win as your name will be forever etched into local folklore as well as onto Scottish Junior Cup history propelling  you into the Scottish Cup first round.

Turnstiles open at 3.05pm (kick-off 4:05pm) prices for the game are £5 for children and senior citizens and £10 for adults (payable at the gate).  The Pollock supporters will be in the main stand with Beith supporters in the East stand.

As Beith Juniors themselves have stated The ETHX Energy Scottish Junior Cup Final is a high profile day for everyone involved and it is important that everything goes well, the success of the cup final can determine the media response to Beith as a community, to Beith Juniors FC and to Junior Football in general. This is an opportunity to demonstrate the qualities of our town, community and our Football club.

Moreover as far Pollock FC and their supporters are concerned this is the biggest game not just in Scottish junior football but Scottish football if not beyond this season.

For those unable to attend the game, it’s being televised live on BBC Alba, Freeview channel 7, coverage starts 3:55pm and continues until after the presentation of medals and the cup to all those involved from the officials to the players on both sides.

I hope all those who are able to attend the game have an enjoyable but safe time, on this most special of occasions.

I would like to thank both Beith juniors and Pollock FC for additional information about the ticketing, when the turnstiles open, where the two sets of fans will be seated and how each sees the game. Lastly up to this moment there hasn’t been any commitment as to which side I’ll support come Sunday well what better way to put this to bed but to say ‘mon the mighty’.



Play Maker Presentation

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Beith Juniors Girls Football Team received their certificates after 13 weeks of long hard work towards their Play Maker award. The award consists of workshops, activities, projects and tasks to learn about how to be a successful, fair young leader. The girls completed projects such as a role model task in which they selected a role model and discussed what made that particular person someone to aspire to as a leader. A big congratulations to the girls and their coach Karen Millan for all their hard work, a very well deserved award!play maker (1) play maker (2) play maker (3) play maker (4) play maker (5) play maker (6) play maker (7) play maker (8) play maker (9) play maker (10)

Den building fun at Soup Group!

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On Wednesday I joined the team at Soup Group where we explored the outdoors, performed taste tests, played in the playhouses, toasted marshmallows and… ate soup! We had so much fun running about gathering sticks and other objects to build dens, we then had a competition to vote whos was the best den, although I had ventured between all three helping all teams to design and build their den. Our taste test was a hit and a miss, some children discovered they love some salad and others were less impressed with our efforts of a healthy snack. Finally, we gathered together round the fire for hot soup which all the kids loved and melt in your mouth marshmallows (they were my favourite part). I think its fair to say we all had a blast!

Check out our photos here

Work Experience- Charlotte Davidson

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Today I started my work experience placement with Beith Community Development Trust, I am absolutely loving it so far and have only been here for one day! I’m given so many fun tasks to complete such as scheduling, sending group texts, photographing the campus and uploading photos to social media accounts. The working environment is so funny and friendly that work doesn’t seem like “work” at all. Already I’ve learned so many skills on the computer and other devices I’m using and I hope to learn more over the following week. I’m exited to photograph the groups and comply articles about them for social media as it’s right up my street. Furthermore, I have learned about the amazing things that are happening here and just how much it is shaping or community to be a better place, it’s a pleasure to be a part of something so big.

Re-vamping the Bug Hotel!

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This week at Soup Group we decided that the Bug Hotel needed a spring clean for the nicer weather coming in. We got rid of all the old ‘furniture’ to make way for some new 5 star furnishings. The Bug Hotel now comes fully equipped with a ‘football mud bath,’ a ‘plastic bottle sofa’ and a ‘swing made out of rubbish’ – every bugs dream!

After getting muddy in the garden we headed over to the pitch and got all of our energy out playing pop up dodge ball, whats the time Mr Wolf and octopus tig. When then had a quick game of hide ‘n’ seek (a soup group favourite) before gathering around the fire for some vegetable soup and marshmallows!

We cant wait to do it all again. Soup Group will be off next week (11.05.16) and will be back the following week!


Project Main Street

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A former British Prime Minister when asked what he feared the most is said to have replied ‘events dear boy events’

Well certainly you can’t say that about Beith Trust, if anything despite the pressure that often comes from organising events and implementing them they continue onwards.

Yes I know readers you will say that I am being biased and seeing Beith Trust through rose tinted glasses and not acknowledging the issues in both the short and long term which can affect a group, this I assure you is far from the truth.

Any of us who have ever been involved in any kind of event will acknowledge the issues both negative and positive that events can have pre and post implementation. On those involved and those who the event is aimed for.

You have the theory, then there’s what actually happens, sometimes the two don’t exactly match up, which can in the long run actually result in something better than you originally envisaged.

Then you have the balance between what you would love to do if time, money and other considerations weren’t an issue and being realistic.

Over the next six months starting from April 19th-23rd 2016 Beith Trust will be working in collaboration with local businesses to improve the appearance and condition of Beith Main Street.

The starting event during this period is the  a POP UP DESIGN Studio at 27 main street Beith offering free, impartial  advice from professionals on a range of areas including  shop front improvements- signage/menu, interior design and business ideas.  This is open to all businesses in Beith or those in Beith who have business ideas but are unsure what the first steps are, or what is required in reality to set-up, maintain and grow a small business within a town centre.

This scheme allows/gives opportunity for community networking on the ground rather than in a book/online  which when flourishing can  establish in some cases and reinforce in others joined up thinking between groups of all sizes, businesses in Beith established or new, the local press, local community  and elected officials. Which in turn redefines and redirects what Beith was, is and can be in the future as well as the Garnock Valley.

By William Morton

Continuity and change

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Every Hamlet, Village, Town, City in the world has something unique about it. I will admit to enjoying walking round places that I’ve never been to or those I have and discovering something new. Even if I forget to turn the map round making it easier to read and figure out where I am.


With this in mind I was walking round Beith and passed the Beith Auld Parish kirk which I’ve passed more times than I care to remember and noticed a plaque. The plaque was split in two, the first part gave you a rough history of the Kirk, the second was a short biography about JOHN Witherspoon, he was the Parish minister in Beith from 1745-1757 but outside of Beith is perhaps more famous for being the only clergyman to sign the American Declaration of Independence on the 4th of July 1776 and his links to Harvard University.


Across the road from the Kirk before you reach the High Street is a small monument and plaque to Dr Henry Faulds born in Beith (39 New Street) he was the first person to publish a detailed report on ‘the conception of fingerprints in criminal investigation’, in the scientific journal Nature in 1880, as well as founding the Tsukiji hospital in Tokyo in 1875.


Those of you reading this might be saying, this is interesting but in what way does this relate to Beith Community Development trust (BCDT), well dear readers the connection comes slightly further up the road into main street. In Main Street Is/was the Pop-up Design Studio. As well as for the next six months BCDT are working in collaboration with local businesses to improve the appearance and condition of Beith Main Street.


The above is a clear example of continuity and change, the continuity being the history, culture and society that has shaped Beith today and change. The change being Beith stepping out of the shadows of the past, embracing it but not being defined by it. Like all change sometimes things don’t go exactly to plan, success of a project/scheme can be difficult to quantify. But change if is done in the right manner it can be an enabler for a community writing a new history while acknowledging it’s the past.


By William Morton


Last day at Easter Play Scheme!

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Even though we are all very sad its over we had so much fun on our very last day at Play Scheme! We stated off with a treasure hunt meticulously searching the garden for our gold we looked up and down and all around and eventually we all had a gold medal each – we were super proud of these!

After we headed over to the pitch for a game of kick ball it was girls against boys and the game was on!!! We ran about so much that we needed a break to catch our breaths.

Later on we played all sorts of games like hockey and dodge ball and finished off with games using the parachute, our favourite was Chinese whispers while we all  hid as a group under the parachute.

We then went in for some yummy lunch and finished off our awesome day with some party games inside. We can not wait until Summer Play Scheme starts!!

A windy start to Week 2 of Play Scheme

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After catching up on our sleep from last week we prepared for a fun filled exciting week ahead. This morning we started off with relay races leaping in and out of hurdles and weaving in and out of cones whist trying to dribble a ball which a few of us found super tricky! We then moved on to a popular favourite between us ‘Pop-up Dodge Ball’ we spent ages running about and popping up and down until we got so tired we had to go for a break.

We then decided we needed a rest so we grabbed the chalk and got to work decorating the slabs in the Astro with everything from water melons to elephants. After, we all moved on to the pitch and played football, splat and whats the time Mr Wolf all these games gave us such a big appetite just in time for lunch.

After lunch we had a mini hockey tournament which took us all they way to home time. We had so much fun but need some rest before it all starts again tomorrow.

Playscheme finale!

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Today’s events kicked off with lots of astro based fun playing games such as; capture the flag and dodgeball which used up a lot of our energy!  We then moved onto drawing our very own chalk pictures on the ground outside of the astro using a diverse range of rainbow coloured jumbo chalks.  Allowing our imagination to run wild and create masterpieces.  After a full morning of activities it was time for lunch and another movie!

After re-fuelling we went back outside to enjoy the sunshine with some hula hoop and footy fun on the pitch, check out our photos here.  A great end to an exciting week where we created lots, and made new friends.  The perfect way to spend our Easter holidays and make the most of the weather – well done kids see you next time!


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Playscheme Day 3 – fancy dress & mask painting!

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Another fun day today at Playscheme week!  We completed lots of imaginative tasks such as painting and decorating our own masks and tiara’s with colourful paints and glitters, finishing them off with string.  Continuing with a morning of creativity, we then moved onto some fancy dress fun!  We got to choose our very own individual costume each in which we put to use in our talent show – showcasing our very professional and theatrical abilities.  After our dramatic performances we then stopped for lunch and once again we were treated to a movie.  Once we had finished our lunch we then moved onto writing down why we loved Playscheme and what we learned.  “The best is playing with the dogs, I enjoyed painting my mask” “the best thing about Playscheme is making new friends”.  Well done everyone a great morning and afternoon with our new friends.  See you tomorrow for the last Playscheme day of the week!


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Easter egg hunt – day 2 of Playscheme!

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Day two of Playscheme was officially under way this morning and afternoon with the great weather encouraging our outdoor activities for the day.  We began with a warm up of dodgeball on the astro turf to prepare us for some Easter egg hunting!  Welly boots intact, we set out into the diversity of the garden using our observation and teamwork skills to spot the hidden chocolate eggs.  “You have hidden these reaaaally well”.  It had taken a lot of effort however we eventually gathered two tubs worth of Easter eggs through searching painstakingly and using our initiative.  It is safe to say our prizes were well earned although the taking part was the real fun!  We then began a game using cards which we had to search for random objects in the garden e.g something; curvy, thin, round, spotty etc.  We then enjoyed another afternoon of having our lunch whilst simultaneously watching our favourite movie of Toy Story on the projector which is safe to say we thoroughly enjoyed (the most quiet we had been all day). Well done everyone another action packed day filled with fun making new friends.  See you all tomorrow for some more adventures!  Check out our photos here.


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Easter Playscheme Day 1!

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Today we welcomed back the first day of Playscheme!  Day one of four we started out with cupcake decorating the first of many activities of the day to come.  Using plain cupcake sponges we decorated them using our imagination and of course a variety of sweets!  To continue with our creative agenda for the day we then moved onto some artistic paper plate painting from portrait to abstract styles – yet all very colourful!  After using up all of our creative energy we then moved into changing room four to begin some team building games such as blind murder where we had to put all of our detective skills to use and find out the secret murderer! After a morning filled with fun we were treated to a movie whilst having our lunch break and finished off with some synchronised singing.  Last but not least we ended the day with some astro toilet tig putting our teamwork skills to use again.  Everyone had a thoroughly great day and loves spending their Easter holidays at Playscheme and are looking forward to the rest of the week – see you tomorrow!

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Nurture Group Easter egg fun!

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Yesterday at Nurture Group we completed various adventurous activities including the main activity of an egg hunt carrying on the theme of Easter.  Through intense observation of the trees, treehouses and flower beds we began to quickly acquire many hidden Easter eggs which could not have been done if we had not put our highly practiced teamwork skills from attending Nurture group to use.  After successfully collecting a multitude of different Easter eggs we then moved onto exploring the diverse garden and checking up on our plants in the polytunnel which are growing steadily.

Once we had given the plants and flowers a careful check up we then finished off with some further dog training; continuing to pet them gently, ask for a paw and lastly walk them on their lead properly.  It is fair to say Nurture Group is giving us lots of new skills to learn each week which we can then put to use everyday with friends and in school.  See you next week for some more Nurture fun!



nurture group photos 1

Kids Cooking Classes – the last bake!

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Yesterday all of our mini chefs gathered in preparation for the last session of Cooking Classes!  Our choice of recipe for this week was fruit tarts where we got to create and decorate our very own Easter masterpieces consisting of bunny faces with sprinkle covered marshmallow bunny ears, strawberry lace whiskers and blueberry eyes.  Aprons intact, we then began the method of making our own shortcrust pastry consisting of flour, eggs, butter and sugar which we combined together in our mixing bowls.  Once we had mixed all of our ingredients together a dough was formed which we then rolled out on our mats ready for precise shaping with our dough cutters.  Six meticulously shaped dough circles later, all thats was left to do was to put them in the oven and patiently wait for them to reappear freshly crisp and risen.  As our pastry tarts cooled down we used our creative design skills to then decorate our cream filled pastry tarts with bunny faces just in time for Easter!  It was apparent that each week of our cooking class lessons had all contributed towards the progression of our newly learned cookery practical skills. A great individual and team effort everyone – well done and we will see you for the next round of our cooking class lessons!


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Songs around the Campfire!

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On Monday the time had finally arrived for our long awaited campfire (in honor of National Down Syndrome Day) to take place and it was a soaring success.  Lots of friends and some talented musicians gathered round on the wooden pallets around our self built authentic campfire.  Where we were treated to some live entertainment which we all joined in on, singing many songs around the campfire.  Whilst enjoying some talented performances we also put a twist on the traditional campfire snack of marshmallows and tested out toasting ourselves some s’mores! Consisting of marshmallow, a square of chocolate all sandwiched between a biscuit base and it is fair to say it was a successful new take on tradition!  We also were treated to cakes and popcorn all to be enjoyed in a rustic yet luxurious environment with friends.  All working as a team each of us contributed to the evening by putting wood in the fire, toasting our s’mores and singing together. The perfect way to enjoy an outdoor evening.  Although our intention of the evening was to have a great time with friends our main purpose of the event was to celebrate and contribute to National Down Syndrome Day.  Through an enjoyable and successful evening we managed to we contribute to the cause of National Down Syndrome Day and raise thirty-four pounds!  Thanks to all who took part on a wonderful evening to recognise and raise awareness of National Down Syndrome Day!

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Kids Cooking Classes – smarties cookies!

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Another successful week at cooking classes with the exciting news of finally baking some rainbow smarties cookies! We began with sieving our plain flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into our mixing bowls and then adding our next ingredients of butter into the mix.  Once we had combined our ingredients we creamed together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.  We then worked as a team to crack, add in and beat the egg into our mixing bowls and added in a dash of vanilla extract.  After gradually beating in the egg and sifting in the dry ingredients to form a stiff dough, we then added in our final and most important ingredient – smarties.  Last but not least of today’s cooking class methods we rolled out our dough using rollings pins and finally divided our mixtures into individual shapes before placing on our baking trays.  As our well made cookies rose proudly in the oven we chatted amongst ourselves waiting patiently to have a taste!  Just as we’d hoped our freshly baked smarties cookies looked and tasted great.  Our skills are improving each week – well done everyone!


kids cooking classes smarties cookies

Mug Masterpieces at Soup Group

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Yesterday at Soup group we began our first of many creative tasks for the day starting off with crafting our own jigsaws.  In preparation for a test of puzzle solving we started off with jigsaw templates and drew our very own design onto the ready prepared jigsaw template, we then scrambled up our jigsaws which meant there was only one thing left to do – put on our thinking caps and solve! Check out all of our photos here.

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After all of our creative hard work we then moved onto more expressive fun by using our new mugs as a blank canvas for us to then transfer our imagination from mind to masterpiece using a multitude of colour paints which produced our final outcome of successful designs.

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We then moved onto our activity of the day, hide and seek.  Where we peered, ducked and dived laboriously behind many spaces of the garden. Helping to keep us fit and healthy whilst having fun with friends!

To finish off an exciting evening of activities we had soup and marshmallows with all of our friends the perfect end to a fun day.  Another successful week at Soup Group! Consisting of building a various amount of skills such as; communication skills as we learned to work together and communicate with our friends in a team environment.  Also our creative skills which we built on through using our imagination to design and express our own unique creations through painting and drawing.  Producing our own jigsaw puzzles and masterpiece mugs.  Well done everyone!




North Ayrshire benefits from £300k lottery money

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Two organisations based in Kilwinning and Beith, striving to improve and strengthen their communities through people led activities, have been awarded a share in £300,000 Lottery (Monday 14 March).


The Big Lottery Fund’s medium grants for community-led activity, which launched in November last year, aims to address inequalities in Scotland by supporting ordinary people to implement positive change in their areas.


Ayrshire Communities Education and Sport (ACES), celebrates £150,000 funding over three years, to deliver a variety of activities in Woodwynd, Kilwinning, in response to needs established in and by the community.


Some of the activities locals have asked for include: sports, recreation, education and holiday programmes for children, lunch clubs for older people, community garden work, a bike track, a women’s clinic, employability & welfare advice, as well as a large number of classes delivered in the local community centre. It is expected that over the length of the project up to 300 local people will benefit.


Whilst much of the work ACES deliver is general sports and youth activities, they have many specific issue based programmes too, for examples, No Knives Better Lives, Suicide Awareness and Legal High Awareness.


Margaret Ann McNeil, ACES Chair, explains what a difference this lottery funding will make: “This Lottery boost will ensure we are able to keep the much needed posts of development officer and youth worker. In turn this will allow us to offer new programmes and expand current ones. I’m pleased to say after feedback from the community, we will also be establishing a breakfast group and an after school group, where young people will receive a snack before going home each day. Finally we’re very glad to be extending our highly successful No Knives Better Lives programme, as well as other school projects, to reach even more young people and children.”


Dale, ACES community youth worker, said: “I’ve been here for over a year now and I have seen first-hand where the community needs the most support and how difficult that can be to achieve due to budgets. This extra funding can help us offer long-term support to our community and help children and young people on to a more positive track for the future.”


Beith Community Development Trust (BCDT) is celebrating £150,000 funding over five years and was formed from an alliance of locals interested in health and well-being and sports, but with limited and poor availability to facilities in the town.


To ensure support goes to locals who need it, BCDT is controlled by a membership strategy limited to Beith postcode holders. It is estimated that 500 people will be involved over the five years.


Alex MacFie, manager at BCDT, explained how they are always looking at ways to improve the Beith area and get the local community involved: “Beith Trust will use this fantastic Lottery funding to support the ongoing development and delivery of a range of fun, educational and recreational programmes for, and chosen by, the community. Whatever your age or background this funding will enable more quality opportunities for everyone. For example, nurture groups with therapy dogs, outdoor educational groups, cookery workshops and awards and accreditations tailored for young people.”


Beith Trust also offer a fun outdoor activity called Soup Group, where young people build dens and create arts and crafts before enjoying some soup around a campfire together and playing campfire games.


Two young people who has been reaping the benefits of the project are Pauline and Dylan.


Pauline said: “This group has been a great experience for me working with a range of people. I no longer feel scared when trying to express myself.”


Dylan said: I’ve learned good communication is sometimes more important than getting things exactly right. I feel like Soup Group is the only place I can be myself.”


Jackie Danks at Beith Primary School, said: “Outdoor activities at the project give the children the opportunity to bring their learning back into school and home. I’ve noticed a significant improvement in the behaviour of children taking part in the nurture group. For example, learning to play fairly and be part of a team, as well as having fun.”


Maureen McGinn, Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, said: “This funding aims to support communities across Scotland to improve the places they live and the well being of those facing challenging circumstances.


“In North Ayrshire these two fantastic projects will ensure everyone has an opportunity to contribute to this positive change. We will continue to work with communities and organisations to support activity which is people centered, strength based and has good local connections.”


More information on what the Big Lottery Fund assists charities and communities to achieve each year;

  • The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK. We are responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery and invest over £650 million a year in projects big and small in health, education, environment and charitable purposes.


  • The Big Lottery Fund Scotland is focused on helping people and communities most in need throughout Scotland through its five-year £250m funding scheme as well as small grants schemes Awards for All and Investing in Ideas.


  • Since March 2007 Big Lottery Fund Scotland has taken devolved decisions on Lottery spending, the Committee, led by Chair, Maureen McGinn plays a strategic role in the future direction of the Fund in Scotland.


  • Since June 2004 we have awarded over £8 billion to projects across the UK that change the lives of millions of people. Every year we fund 13,000 small local projects tackling big social problems like poor mental health and homelessness.


  • Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £34 billion has been raised and more than 450,000 grants awarded.


We love Nurture!

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Yet another successful week with visible progression via learning new skills with all of our friends at Nurture Group.  Throughout many weeks of carrying out fun activities whilst simultaneously learning we took some quotes from the Nurture Group kids this morning to gain a perspective on how the group helps them personally/as a team progress and grow more and more each week.

“Alex kinda makes me be good and helps us learn to have fun. Daisy and Poppy help you train them and help us know dogs don’t bite. Alex teaches us to be good”.

“If you weren’t coming to pick us up there might be danger on the roads and we would be flat as pancake outside. You teach us to do dog skills and help us learn about dogs like not grabbing them and handling them carefully.  You also teach us to plant. You help us to learn not to hit people. Nurture is lots of fun and its great”.

“Alex teaches us to walk the dogs and to be nice to the others in the group. I feel happy when I go back to class”.

“I learn to play fairly and play with the sand and in the tunnel and with Poppy and Daisy. I don’t have a dog. I’ve just got a bearded dragon”.

Everyone as a team collectively enjoys Nurture group every Wednesday morning at the Astro as it reinforces road safety and the children all look forward to carrying out new fun tasks and games which we can take on board and put to use in the classroom.   Well done everyone!





Its Modern Apprenticeship Week!

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This week is Modern Apprenticeship and we want to show appreciation to our Business Admin apprenticeship Amy!

Here are some quotes from various members of staff just to prove how awesome she really is!

“Beith Trust was really lucky to get Amy as a modern apprentice. Amy began by volunteering at the Trust before becoming a modern apprentice in business administration and completing her SVQ levels 3 and 4. She is a fantastic, efficient and highly competent member of the team who is relied on heavily by everyone. She is professional, capable and very much an asset to the organisation.”

“Amy McKeeman is a hard working and helpful young woman. She’s funny, kind and made me feel welcome when I was new to the office.”
“Amy is very efficient in all the daily work that she completes, and is a vital part of the team here at Beith Trust in order for the office to run smoothly. She is very friendly and welcoming to all staff, customers and members of the public and approaches all tasks/situations calmly and deals with them productively.”

“Amy is indispensable, she knows all the processes back to front, she knows the people inside out, if you want an issue resolved, Amy’s your go-to person. Her comprehensive understanding of the business allows others to get the information they need to get the job done right, first time. She is flexible and creative, contributing her time and knowledge freely, to support and mentor others.”

Amy keep up the good work you are doing an amazing job and we cannot wait to see what you get up to in the future!

Happy Leap Year

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Today is the day we get a bonus day! It’s the day we need to keep the calendar aligned with the Earths’ revolutions around the sun! Julius Caesar introduced the Leap year around 45 BCE (before the Common Era) by adding one day onto the end of February. If he had not done this we would lose almost six hours from our calendar every year, meaning the calendar would be out by 24 days after only 100 years without leap days!

The chances of being born on February 29th are one in 1,461 and there are roughly only 4 million people in the world born on February 29th, people born on this day are called Leaplings!

In most places Leaplings have to wait until March 1st to be eligible for any age specific privileges (ages 16, 18 and 21.) They are considered to be good-natured, friendly and optimistic.

February 29th also commemorates Sadie Hawkins Day on which women can propose to men. Tradition shows that a man was expected to pay a penalty if he were to refuse a marriage proposal from a woman on Leap Day. In many European countries, especially in the upper classes of society, tradition dictates that a man who refuses a proposal on February 29th has to buy her 12 pairs of gloves.

Remember Julius Caesar created the 29th February as a bonus day so take that extra leap, after all it only happens every four years!

Fun feelings Jenga at Soup Group

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A lot of fun and games had with friends this week at Soup Group beginning with a game of ‘feelings jenga’ where we each took a turn around our circle of friends to meticulously remove a feelings labeled block from the jenga tower.  We then patiently listened to when a time each of us felt ‘happy’ or ‘proud’ etc.  All of  which greatly improved our team building skills and confidence to share our emotions.  Excitingly we then moved on to a treasure hunt game where we foraged the garden and forrest for various random objects on the list such as something; stripey, smooth, blue and lots more.  All of which encouraged us to use our brains and observational skills to scour every nook and cranny of grass, soil, logs and treehouses in order to find the desired items which most definitely brought to the surface our competitive streak.  To continue our evening of activity we then had multiple games of hide and seek which depleted our energy and most definitely required some well deserved snacks.  A great end to an action packed day at the astro check out our photos here.  See you all next week!


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Nuture Group – teamwork fun

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This morning at Nurture Group we began with a frosty walk from our school to the astro (dogs included), warming us up for a day full of activities.  With a morning of teamwork and exploring ahead of us we began with checking up on our very own planted cress heads which are coming on slowly but surely!  We then monitored various other plants and flowers in the diverse poly tunnel such as the soon to bloom vibrant daffodils.  After meticulously observing the different range of vegetables, flowers and plants in the polytunnel we then took to the garden for some dog training.  In order to progress in our dog training abilities we practiced some new skills; we learned how to walk the dogs on the lead, we learned how to get the dogs to give us a high five/paw, which took some perseverance and we also continued to practice how to pet the dogs which the dogs (daisy and poppy) thoroughly enjoyed.  After all of our hard work we finished off with playing in the garden, exploring every nook and cranny of the forest and tree houses with our friends.  A great catch up with friends interacting and learning more about nature – well done everyone!




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Kids Cooking Classes – Custard Creams

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Our first week of Kids Cooking Classes started back this week!  We began with baking a recipe of home baked custard creams (much more delicious than shop bought).  Firstly we took our seats and tied our aprons tight in preparation for some hard work, beginning to make our biscuits we creamed the sugar and margarine together then folded in our delicately sieved flour, custard powder and vanilla essence until a roll-able dough was formed.  To get the perfect custard cream shaped biscuit we used our round plastic cutters to cut with precision before placing them on our baking trays.

We then started the process of making our very own custard flavoured cream by using a plastic cup and adding the following ingredients; custard powder, sweet icing sugar and rich butter.  Using a spoon we then combined all ingredients,  which was most definitely an exercise of its own!  Once we sat our cup of custard cream aside we had a break and chatted with friends which proved difficult as the smell of our biscuits baking in the oven filled the room with a sweet aroma.  As our freshly baked biscuits were brought out of the oven in all shapes and sizes, all that was left to do was to assemble the custard cream with our crunchy biscuits and then of course enjoy check out our photos here.  Some progression of skills shown this week a fantastic effort – well done everyone!



Nurture Group – mini gardeners!

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Another fun filled morning at Nurture Group this week consisting of exciting outdoor activities with friends!  First of all we began with checking up on our previously planted tomato seeds in the poly tunnel, then with hand trowels, hand rakes and gardening gloves intact we went onto planting more bulbs in the fresh soil aswell as planting some fresh flower beds which we will observe over the coming weeks as they sprout from bulbs to beautiful flowers!

After putting our agricultural skills to use we began a game of hide and seek.  We set off running through the garden peering and ducking behind every facet of the forest and tree houses in search of the perfect hiding places – some successful some not so much! To finish off a great morning we raced back to school to get in our exercise for the day of course. We can’t wait for next week to check out the progression of our plants in the polytunnel! Well done everyone!



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Girls football club do their PlayMaker Award

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Yesterday I had the pleasure of going to watch the Beith Juniors Community Girls Football Team do their PlayMaker Award. This week’s activity was ‘Area Size’ – the girls were put into pairs of two with one ball between a pair they then had to meticulously pass the ball to each other the first pair to get to 5 passes had to shout a word one of the girls said, we had great fun with this shouting words like ‘Bingo,’ ‘Victory’ and ‘Unicorn.’ After each round each girl took two steps back until they were at opposite ends of the hall and again started to pass the ball to each other – this time the balls were going all over the room and no one was really in control.

After we gathered together to have a group discussion the girls talked about how difficult it got the further apart they moved as it was harder to stay in control and get the ball to their partner. They discussed what would be a good solution to their problem and decided that the younger girls were not to move back just the older ones and this seemed to work perfectly for them. The girls at the end had a great understanding of area size and different people having different capabilities. Well done girls.

Band Factory rising star!

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Today we invited Lily who attended our band factory sessions last year, to the office for a brief interview on her experience on performing live at the Barrowlands in Glasgow, whilst supporting the band ‘dogtooth’.


How was your performance at the Barrowlands? Can you sum it up in three words?

My performance at the Barrowlands was an amazing experience, I feel so lucky to have had that opportunity! in three words, I’d say it was incredible, surreal and inspiring.


Did band factory encourage/ help you to pursue your musical talents?

Band factory definitely helped me because before doing my first one in 2014 I had hardly any confidence in performing live, and the one in April last year was actually the first time I’d ever played guitar and sang for an audience. I think it gave me an opportunity to perform and to realise that it was something I loved.


What did you enjoy about Band Factory?

I really enjoyed working with others to put together a set list we all liked, and I especially liked with my last band where we would do covers of songs, but change them to fit our own personal style, I liked having the freedom to choose anything and seeing the hard work pay off at the end of the week.


How did it feel performing solo in front of a live audience?

It was terrifying to stand there completely alone and play, but it was so worthwhile seeing the audience’s reactions and I’m so pleased I was able to do it.


Did band factory improve your confidence in performing over all?

Band factory definitely improved my confidence, I remember my first band factory I hardly spoke to anyone for the full week and I didn’t even play my guitar for the gig, but now it’s my favourite thing to do! The constant support and encouragement of everyone involved has really helped me realise my passion for music and I think I’ve come out of my shell a lot recently.


Do you prefer performing solo to performing with a band?

I like both, as long as I’m playing music! I really like playing with others because it gives more depth to a song- when I’m playing solo I can’t incorporate harmonies or anything! but I love playing solo and relying on myself so I know if it goes badly or goes well, it’s just down to me myself.


Throughout the interview Lily agreed that our Band Factory group improved her overall confidence and improved her live performance skills, great answers Lily thank you!


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Discussing team size and playing tag at PlayMaker

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This week at PlayMaker with Beith Juniors 2003’s we worked on team size. We played ‘Toilet Tig’ for the first game one person was het and the other 10 were being chased it took ages for that one person to catch everyone. After this we changed it so 4 people were het and the others were being chased but this time within 20 seconds everyone was caught.

After we got our breaths back from all that running about we came in for a group discussion we talked about how both these team sizes didn’t work and it was unfair on the other players. When there was only one person het it was too much for that person and they had no energy left by the end but when there were 4 people all the other players didn’t get the chance to run. We discussed that the perfect number of players would be two het and the rest being chased. We talked about considering team size when we are coaching and that it can be different for all sorts of games but that we have to make sure that is fair for all players.

We finished off our session by playing the game with the amount of players we suggested and it was much better.

Astro Tots returns!

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Our Astro Tots has officially made a comeback!  After starting back this week, we kicked off with some warming up games with friends and then progressed onto practicing our football skills and techniques which we will of course, inevitably perfect.  Our training included; fun running drills to the small yellow cones and back again, then weaving the ball meticulously through the diagonally positioned markers, practicing our shooting skills by aiming then kicking the ball and watching it propel with velocity striking down the cones.  Our final technique of the day was to practice our header skills by lining up beside our team mates, awaiting our coach to individually throw the ball to each of us and then hitting it with force back to our coach again.  After all of our hard work and activities we finished off with a game of tag chasing each of our team mates one at a time around the sports hall lots of laughs all round – a striking success! See you all next week!


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Nurture Group – teamwork and tomato planting!

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With the sun making a shining appearance yesterday morning at Nurture Group we carried out a multitude of outdoor activities and practiced various new skills with our friends, all of which was made more successful by working as a team (dogs included of course).  We started off with building up our agricultural skills by planting some tomato seeds which we sprinkled thinly on the surface of good quality seed compost then eventually watered, after all of our hard work all that was left to do is to now watch them grow into fresh produce in the coming weeks so that we can enjoy!  We then moved onto practicing our dog training skills with Poppy and Daisy such as learning how to pet them properly and how to walk them on the lead which also, linked into our safe dog handling training – well on our way to becoming leaders of the pack! After a tiring morning of team work tasks and activities we finished off with nurturing the garden by watering the plants, an overall success in terms of learning new skills and working in a team with friends.  Well done everyone see you next week!


Beith Juniors 2003’s start their PlayMaker

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Last night the Beith Juniors 2003’s football team started their PlayMaker award, the first qualification of the Sports Leader Awards. After being a little sceptical with huffs and puffs they really got into the swing of things and I might even have heard an ‘this was really fun are we doing it next week?’ This week’s activity was ‘What is a Leader’ – the boys had to form a straight line with the leader at the front. The leader would either run, jog or sprint whilst shouting commands that his team followed. Each of the boys took to the role pretty well and after everyone had a turn at being a leader we had a group discussion about what makes a good leader, what might have happened if they hadn’t done these things and what are the main leadership skills that we identified whilst doing the activity. The boys gave some good answers like ‘making sure everyone stayed in line so we didn’t crash’ and ‘project your voice so that everyone can hear what you are saying.’ They then decided on a couple of skills that make a good leader for example ‘making sure everyone is happy,’ ‘keeping everyone safe’ and ‘making sensible decisions.’

The PlayMaker award is a great introduction into leadership for pupils or students. The award focuses on developing leadership skills and I can already see some budding leaders in this course.

Keep Scotland Beautiful – Re-use and repair event

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This week at BCDT we hosted a Peer Learning Event solely surrounding the current issue that is climate change and focused on a theme of reusing and repairing which was held by the Climate Change Fund, (part of the keep Scotland beautiful charity).  Anyone connected to a community group that is taking action to reduce carbon emissions in the area was invited to attend – whether a member of staff, volunteer, board member or community member.  This event was and is an opportunity to bring awareness and action towards tackling climate change by celebrating the benefit that combining as a community has in terms of progress towards reducing carbon emissions in Scotland’s communities.

We took the time to walk around the garden and forest area focusing on the objects and projects that have been created from recycled matter such as; our series of colourfully painted wooden pallet benches outside, our large tire wheels which are used as seating, our poly tunnel where we grow a multitude of plants, vegetables and much more.  All of which contributes towards looking after our environment and encourages our community to make use of old resources which our visitors were thoroughly impressed with.  We shared many creative project ideas and discussed common problems which we believe will inevitably continue to breed awareness towards climate change in a positive fashion.  A fun and informative day for all who attended – an overall successful event!


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Nurture Group – Scavenger Hunt

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Today at Nurture Group we braved the cold and frosty winds in order to began hunting for specific objects in the wilderness!  Wellies and waterproofs intact we set off through the garden and throughout the diversity of the forest in search of our treasure hunt objects such as; sticks, round objects, blue objects and much more mysterious findings before gathering them in a pile as we went along.

Once we had successfully ticked off the items on our Scavenger Hunt list we then began using our ground chalks to express our creative talents by using our imagination to draw with a multitude of colours and shapes.  

As the adventurous goings on for the morning came to and end we then finished up by checking up on our wormery.  Luckily the weather did not dampen our spirits as we enjoyed exploring every nook and cranny of the wilderness – well done to all inquisitive adventurers involved!


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Crafternoon – Festive Fun

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Our Crafternoon classes are back!  Getting into the Christmas spirit early this year we started off with creating some coffee stirrer star decorations – oblivious of the mess to come – we set off merging together our wooden sticks with meticulous precision using pva glue.  Once we had a sturdy structure we were able to begin the creative process of tearing up a multitude of coloured tissue paper (mostly festive colours of red, green and yellow) and papering over the hollow triangle shapes.  To finish off our Christmas decoration we tied some green thread through the wooden sticks to create our finished project.

Using a method of recycling, reducing and reusing we began building the structure of our owl bodies from cardboard toilet roll cylinders by folding each end inwards in order for our desired shape to take form.  Now for the fun part!  Using our imagination we began building up the quirky features of our owls such as; some large comical googly eyes, vibrant coloured card wings, acuminated beaks and fluffy tissue feathers – all of which contributing to our uniquely crafted animals.   Well done everyone!



Amateurs To Professionals – Kids Cooking Classes!

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Yesterday our series of bake offs came to an exciting end as we finished off our Kids Cooking Classes with baking a festive bread and butter dessert inspired by Christmas pudding – and it was delicious!  To begin we put all of our ingredients into our mixing bowls starting off with our dry ingredients; breadcrumbs, brown sugar, dried fruit and mixed spice we then combined those ingredients together with our butter, milk and eggs.  Using our wooden spoons – and strength – our ingredients eventually combined together creating a smooth consistency with our dried fruit laced through the sweet mixture.  Our ingredient of mixed spice consisting of cinnamon, ginger, cloves and more all supplied our bake with a certain spicy flavour.  With not much technique involved all that was left to do was to distribute our smooth, not yet pudding into paper cases onto our baking trays,  some spillages involved which only contributed to the homemade charm of our bakes.  With patience required, we waited on our smooth raisin filled mixtures transforming in the hot oven, into a sweet, slightly spiced bread and butter pudding.  Our last (but not least) session of Kids Cooking Classes was a soaring success, from amateurs to professionals – well done Chefs!



A kind donation for a local boy!

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Beith Trust were happy to welcome Donna and Paul with their children Rosie, Eleanor and Alfie to receive a donation of Five Thousand pounds from Stephen and Angela Hamilton from the Corey fund towards an Eye Gaze.

With this donation their son Alfie will be able to get the assistive technology that he needs, this will help improve his ability to communicate his opinions. Donna says ‘He will be able to text me, play games and even use it to open doors.’ Stephen says ‘We are happy to be able to help Alfie.’

We look forward to seeing what Alfie will be able to achieve in the future.

Kids Cooking Classes – Savory Samosas

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This week at our Kids Cooking Classes we were faced with our most technical baking challenge so far – creating some flavorsome samosas.  The first steps in forming our vegetable samosas was to begin finely sieving the flour into our mixing bowls then, combining the water, egg and dry ingredients we began to weave the flour through the water using only our hands as utensils, eventually forming an elastic dough.  Using our muscles we started to roll out our pastry dough into our desired thickness in preparation for the shape cutting stage.   Once we had our shapes of dough cut and developed it was time to make a start on the delightful filling!  Using a fork, we began to mash together some potatoes, garam masala and peas until the vegetables came together as a mixture (which took more elbow grease than we anticipated) check out our photos here.  After all our hard work it was time to assemble our samosas by inserting the mashed vegetable mixture in the middle of the pastry, then delicately crimping the edges with our fingers to create the traditional samosa presentation – well done little chefs!

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Astro Tots – skills and drills!

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Another fun skill filled evening at Astro Tots!  In order to get warmed up we took part in numerous exercises consisting of competitive races where we gathered in a line among friends (or competitors in this case) and set off with speed.  Also to get our hearts warmed up we took part in running drills such as high knee jogs, extended leg skipping and more.  Learning to work together we marked ourselves at the cones then we meticulously approached and successfully passed the ball to our teammates.  We then moved on to our skills and drills where we practiced our pro techniques of touching the ball around the cones in preparation for the big shoot! And of course scoring.  With practice comes perfection therefore after our inevitable victory goals we moved on to a full game where we made use of our eagerly practiced skills in hopes of overcoming our opponents which involved; technical tackles, successful striking and diligent defence.  Check out our photos here.  Another fun week at Astro Tots – well done everyone see you next week!


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Baking Up A Storm

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This weeks cooking classes had a certain spark as we kicked off our baking with creating some firework biscuits – getting into the spirit of Guy Fawkes Night as we mixed together our basic ingredients of flour, butter, sugar and water. Once we had sieved, stirred and rolled out our mixture – and eventual dough – to perfection we began the process of inserting the blue food colouring into our dough and rolling into a sausage shape.  After this process we then sliced our dough, revealing a marvelous spiral firework shape!  Check out our photos here.  We certainly finished off this weeks class with a bang – well done everyone!


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Kids Cooking Classes – Pastry Cauldrons!

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This week at our cooking classes we got together with our friends to create some more spooky bakes in time for Halloween.  This week we decided to get our hands dirty and bake some bloody cauldrons!  In hopes that we would produce a smooth pastry dough we mixed all of our components together in our mixing bowls consisting of basic ingredients such as; flour, butter and water.  Once we had mixed everything together we began to roll out the mixture with our rolling pins so that we could eventually cut into Halloween inspired cauldron shapes.  Once we had perfected the shape cutting technique we placed our six pastry shapes onto our baking trays, forming into witch-like cauldrons.   After all of our hard work our pastry had become golden and risen in the oven, leaving only one last task to be completed – the blood (strawberry jam) distributing.  Check out more photos here.  Well done everyone another fun bake!



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